On March 31, 1982, the Liberian tank vessel Arkas
was upbound in the Mississippi River
carrying a cargo of crude oil,
and passing the upbound M/V Creole Genii
which was pushing three barges carrying No 6 oil,
when the vessels collided near 35 Mile Point at mile 130
Above Head of Passes at 2118.
The collision ruptured the Arkas's hull,
and escaping crude oil was ignited.
Because the Arkas's crew feared an explosion,
they anchored the vessel along the east river bank,
and then abandoned it.
Damage was estimated to be $50,000 to the Creole Genii tow,
$15 million to the Arkas, and more than $71,000 to the environment.
No one was seriosuly injured.
The Creole Genii was pushing three tank barges
in a line ahead.
The raked bow barge Bobbie was in the lead
followed by the Tina and the Girl.
The tow including the towboat was 815 ft long and 50 feet wide.
Each of the barges was loaded to about a 9 foot draft
carrying a total of 50,000 barrels of oil,
and the towboat's draft was about 9 feet 6 inches
according to the operator.
[The NTSB goes on to recommend rounding off
raked bow barge bows or providing bumpers.
Both would require a major change in towboat operation
since the squared off bows allow
the raked bow barges to be incorporated
within the tow.]